Christine S. Kester, of Massillon, following a long and purposeful life, passed away peacefully while surrounded by family on Saturday evening, October 26, 2019. This past January she celebrated her 100th birthday! Born in Massillon, a daughter to the late K. Gus and Lillie E. (Hamlet) Smith, Chris learned early in her life the value of hard work, patience and persistence. Attributes that served her well as a single mother of two young daughters. Besides being a full-time mom, she had worked as a grinder operator and inspector for the former Reliance Division of Eaton Mfg. Corp. in Massillon, retiring in 1981 after 31-1/2 years of faithful service. A woman of quiet faith and a mischievous sense of humor, Chris loved her family above all else. She met and married George Kester, “a decent fella from the shop,” and thereafter, four generations of family and extended family would come to know her tender care and protection, her quick wit and the humble example she tried to set: her willingness to lend a hand, to look to the needs of others before her own and the joy she found in doing little things that others might enjoy. She loved to cook, loved to laugh and loved a good joke – even when it meant laughing at herself. An avid bowler - very active in league play and a 40-year member of the WBA, she was always up for a game of cards – especially euchre, with her friends from St. Mary’s, at the K of C or at Massillon Senior Center.
Preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George F. Kester; daughter, Marjorie L. Fisher; step-son, Kenneth K. Kester; brothers, George L. Smith and K. Gus Smith, Jr.; sisters, Frances “Polly” Hoffee and Helen M. Ertle; grandsons, Thomas M. Fisher, Jr. and Jeffry P. Wilhelm; and sons-in-law, Thomas Fisher, Sr. and John Knisley; Christine is survived by her daughter, Patricia A. (Frank) Ross, of Massillon and step-daughters, Judith M. Knisley, also of Massillon and Connie J. (Rodney) Rentsch, of Jackson, Georgia and a step-daughter-in-law, Geraldine Kester, of Massillon. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren and a large, much loved extended family.
Funeral services will be conducted at noon on Friday, November 1, 2019, at Atkinson Feucht Hare Funeral Home in Massillon. The family will receive condolences Friday morning prior to the start of services, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in the funeral home. At Christine’s request, memorial contributions may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The family also extends their heartfelt thanks to the staff of Brewster Parke Senior Living Community and to Mercy Hospice for the gentle, professional care and ministry Christine received.
Christine and George will be inurned together, privately, at Ohio western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville, Ohio
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